Small farmers are on the front lines of the global climate and hunger crisis.
Despite the fact that small farmers feed the majority of the world on just ¼ of farmland, small farmers face an unfair marketplace, displacement and disenfranchisement.
Dr. Bronner’s fair trade partner, Fair World Project is launching Grow Ahead, a new crowdfunding platform to support and stand in solidarity with small farmers around the world as they address the challenges of climate change in their communities. Small farmers practicing regenerative organic agriculture can not only feed their communities and withstand climate change, but also cool the planet. Small-scale farmer organizations in the developing world are historically under-resourced, with limited access to the credit needed to grow their organizations beyond their day-to-day needs.
As Dr. Bronner’s Organic and Fair Trade Coordinator, I work closely with our sister companies and partner projects. Supporting farmers’ transition and advancement towards resilient and regenerative organic practices will require not only the continued economic support of consumers who buy fair trade & organic products, but also direct financial cooperation.
Grow Ahead intends to bridge the funding gap by focusing on three key areas:
- Facilitating a revolving loan program for farmer-developed resiliency projects, such as agroforestry programs, soil conservation initiatives and compost operations.
- Raising funds for regional Farmer-to-Farmer exchanges. Experience has shown that farmers around the world learn best from their peers. Emerging from Central America in the 1970s, the “Farmer-to-Farmer” movement has fueled the training of thousands of peasant farmers by facilitating the exchange of practical experiences and best practices. This movement is based upon community empowerment, traditional knowledge, and local innovation and cooperation.
- Providing funds and resources for farm leader agroecology scholarships. Grow Ahead will raise funds earmarked specifically to provide scholarships for farm leaders and trainers to attend farmer-centric agroecology schools.